What will aid in digestion of starchy vegetables and fruits?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 09, 2012 at 9:24 PM

I'll try to make everything easy to understand, but bare with me...

I'm having problems with my digestion as a 16 year old kid(which is likely causing my acne); specifically with starchy vegetables and fruits. I am Paleo about half a year and while I feel better health-wise, I still have problems with acne.

I did an experiment removing starches and fruits from my diet about a month ago and my skin condition improved a lot and so did my bloating and gassiness. I get around 50-100g of carbs everyday through vegetables and just recently tried to incorporate carrots into my diet to increase variety. Unfortunately the gassiness came back but not much change in my skin yet.. knock on wood :S

I'm assuming that my acne problems are being caused by my gut health and am looking for some ways to improve it. After every meal I feel bloated and get slight hiccuping sometimes followed by a slight burning sensation(acid reflux)? I try to avoid drinking an hour before and after eating but when I do drink an hour later, the hiccuping comes back for a little.

I am looking to try a probiotic, but something dairy free because I have a strong intolerance to it. If anyone would recommend one it would be greatly appreciated. I also want to try Now SuperEnzymes(unless someone dissuades me from it) and see if that has any effect.

I tried making my own water kefir but I gave up on it since the taste to me was unbearable and I'm not usually one to complain. Maybe I did it wrong, but the sugar content makes me weary anyway. I'm going to try and find unpasteurized sauerkraut in my local Whole Foods and if I do I'll eat it everyday since I LOVE the stuff.

Supplements I take daily(if needed I can post exact amounts): D3 Magnesium Zinc Cod Liver Oil

Any advice is greatly appreciated :)

2 more somewhat relevant questions..

1) Is there any tests that I can have done to help me pinpoint the cause of my acne/digestive issues?

2)Does anyone know if tretinoin(retin-a) continues working for a while after stopping use? I decided to just go cold turkey and stop putting the stuff on my face and my face looks better after a few days if anything but I'm not sure if it's just because the stuff is still in my skin.

If you read this, thanks for your patience and any advice you have :]



on August 10, 2012
at 07:28 AM

Agree. Never tried killing the bastards, but sounds like a good idea.



on August 10, 2012
at 07:26 AM

Try probiotics, but makes sure they are really alive! Some stuff when you buy them in a pill form is half dead already (if not all dead). Make sure to buy them from a refrigerated section. You know, the reason why you have lactose intolerance could be connected to altered gut flora. I cannot recommend any probiotics even though I am taking them in elephant doses now, sorry, but I bet you really really need them and also, once I have started taking them, I have seen a lot of my issues solved, including acne on the chin (leftover from my period).



on August 09, 2012
at 10:03 PM

I like Bubbie's kraut and dill pickles. Both have "good bugs" in them. According to the company, the pickles are raw and the kraut is heated, but not cooked and not pasteurized. It is the only kraut I can stand (and I love it so much I have to ration it), but I haven't ventured as far as making my own.

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5 Answers



on August 10, 2012
at 02:19 AM

You may find the information on the WAPF site helpful:


A strategy for dealing with acne begins with effective "bowel cleansing" and healthy bowel flora (the normal lacto-bacteria that live in our intestines). This has always been considered the cornerstone of every natural acne treatment.

Another area of importance is the inclusion of the proper fats in the diet (such as good quality butter and olive oil) and excluding the commercial vegetable oils and hydrogenated margarines and shortenings.


Severe acne is found in those with low levels of vitamin A in the blood. The standard conventional treatment for acne is Accutane, a synthetic form of vitamin A, but cod liver oil and other vitamin A-rich foods can work just as well, without the side effects, such as joint pain, hair loss, low energy, depression and aggressive behavior. Vitamin D is a major contributor in the process of skin cell metabolism and growth, which may explain why skin texture improves after a sunbath.

Other minerals that play key roles for skin health include zinc, iron and selenium. Zinc deficiency is associated with acne because zinc helps control the production of oil in the skin. It is also a co-factor for vitamin A utilization. Good iron status supports a rosy glow in the cheeks. Selenium supports tissue elasticity and protects against free radical damage. Red meat, liver and seafood are our best sources of these vital minerals.

Acne has been linked to deficiencies of vitamins A and E in several studies. Avoid polyunsaturated oils, which use up vitamin E. Cod liver oil is a must; in some cases, high doses of water-soluble vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) have been helpful. Bone broths and lacto-fermented foods help fight infection in the gut and will reduce the manifestations of that infection on the skin.


Allergies, acne, eczema and gastrointestinal complaints are just a few of the symptoms that can point to gut dysbiosis.


it is important to never combine cod liver oil or vitamin A from supplements with oral or topical medications for acne or other skin disorders treated with retinoic acid derivatives.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your investigations.





on August 10, 2012
at 01:19 AM

I have similar problems with digestion. Read somewhere they are caused by pathogenic flora in the guts. The mechanism is as follows:

Fruits supply this flora with fructose which feeds them, same with starchy vegetables (which might explain why you have problems with carrot). Even non sweet non starchy vegetables can cause troubles as they give these nasty microbes fiber to feed on.

As a result they produce gas which leads to bloating and burps which throw acidic content of stomach into esophagus, thus acid reflux.

Some of these nasty bacterias are even able to reduce acidity of a stomach (h.pylori) which allows them to proliferate even further.

I'm trying to solve this problem in the following ways:

  1. Kill the bastards! Manuka honey, coconut oil.
  2. Starve them to death! Limit sweet, starchy, fibery fruits and veges (0 carb seems like a good idea)
  3. Replace them with good fellas - fermented foods - yoghurt, kefir, sourkraut, pickles.

Sorry can't give much advice on acne problem, I suspect it should solve itself once digestive problem is solved.



on August 10, 2012
at 07:28 AM

Agree. Never tried killing the bastards, but sounds like a good idea.


on August 10, 2012
at 12:24 AM

  1. Not really. You can get a Hydrogen Breath test to test for SIBO, which would explain your acid reflux/hicupping/burping symptoms. There's antibiotics out there which are capable of targeting only the bacteria in the part of the body that causes SIBO. Normally antibiotics are a horrible idea though.

  2. It works similar to Vitamin A, albeit a very aggressive and damaging form of Vit A. It lingers in your cell membranes for a while after you go off it, but only until it's utilized. But oral Tretinoin is a poison and has a strong correlation with liver damage. Topical tretinoin, however, is much safer.

But topical retinol is even safer than that and much more natural. The only digestive enzyme worth taking in my opinion is Betaine HCl + Pepsin.

A probiotic is the way to go.


on August 10, 2012
at 05:44 PM

Kombucha is a great source of probiotics! Dairy free and delicious.



on August 10, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Acne tends to be correlated to dairy (well estrogen).

Now Superenzymes are great as capsules, not as tablets (Tables don't much work), but unless you're not producing enough stomach acid, or bile, you won't need them. If you don't have a gall bladder anymore, you absolutely need them before each meal.

You could try a drop or two at most of oregano oil - but be very careful, it's very potent stuff and you'll kill off the good bacteria in your guts as well as the bad. Don't put this stuff on your skin and make sure you dilute it in a drink. You may get a nasty Herxheimer reaction from it (bacterial die off) which will be unpleasant.

Make sure you take lots of probiotics a few hours later (home made saur kraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, lacto-fermented pickles etc. homemade because you want them to be fermented for a long time - the commercial stuff barely has any of the bacteria since most SAD eaters like the taste of sweet and fear sour.) Infact, whether you do the oregano oil or not, you should take the probiotics.

Usual broiler plate disclaimer: Since you're 16, ask your parents and doctor first, I'm not a doctor, and don't play one on TV, this is what I know based on what worked for me, etc. etc. etc.

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